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Theodor Herzl's Program for Zionism

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The spirit of enterprise must, indeed, be encouraged in every possible way. Organization of industries will be promoted by a judicious system of duties, by the employment of cheap raw material, and by the institution of a board to collect and publish industrial statistics.

But this spirit of enterprise must be wisely encouraged, and risky speculation must be avoided. Every new industry must be advertised for a long period before establishment, so as to prevent failure on the part of those who might wish to start a similar business six months later. Whenever a new industrial establishment is founded, the Company should be informed, so that all those interested may obtain information from it.

Industrialists will be able to make use of centralized labor agencies, which will only receive a commission large enough to ensure their continuance. The industrialists might, for example, telegraph for 500 unskilled laborers for three days, three weeks, or three months. The labor agency would then collect these 500 unskilled laborers from every possible source, and despatch them at once to carry out the agricultural or industrial enterprise. Parties of work-men will thus be systematically drafted from place to place like a body of troops. These men will, of course, not be sweated, but will work only a seven-hour day; and, in spite of their change of locality, they will preserve their organization, work out their term of service, and receive commands, promotions, and pensions. Some establishments may, of course, be able to obtain their wiorkmen from other sources, if they wish, but they will not find it easy to do so. The Society will be able to prevent the introduction of non-Jewish work-slaves by boycotting obstinate employers, by obstructing traffic, and by various other methods. The seven-hour workers will therefore have to be taken, and we shall thus bring our people gradually, and without coercion, to adopt the normal seven-hour day.

SETTLEMENT OF SKILLED LABORERS

It is clear that what can be done for unskilled workers can be even more easily done for skilled laborers. These will work under similar regulations in the factories, and the central labor agency will provide them when required.

Independent operatives and small employers, must be carefully taught on account of the rapid progress of scientific improvements, must acquire technical knowledge even if no longer very young men, must studp the power of water, and appreciate the forces of electricity. Independent workers must also be discovered and supplied by the Society's agency. The local branch will apply, for example, to the central office: "We want so many carpenters, locksmiths, glaziers, etc." The central office will publish this demand, and the proper men will apply there for the work. These would then travel with their families to the place where they were wanted, and would remain there without feeling the pressure of undue competition. A permanent and comfortable home would thus be provided for them.

METHOD OF RAISING CAPITAL

The capital required for establishing the Company was previously put at what seemed an absurdly high figure. The amount actually necessary will be fixed by financiers, and will in any case be a very considerable sum. There are three ways of raising this sum, all of which the Society will take under consideration. This Society, the great "Gestor" of the Jews, will be formed by our best and most upright men, who must not derive any material advantage from their membership. Although the Society cannot at the outset possess any but moral authority, this authority will suffice to establish the credit of the Jewish Company in the nation's eyes. The Jewish Company will be unable to succeed in its enterprise unless it has received the Society's sanction; it will thus not be formed of any mere indiscriminate group of financiers. For the Society will weigh, Select and decide, and will not give its approbation till it is sure of the existence of a sound basis ior the conscientious carrying out of the scheme. It will not permit experiments with insufficient means, for this undertaking must succeed at the first attempt. Any initial failure would compromise the whole idea for many decades to come, or might even make its realization permanently impossible.

The three methods of raising capital are: (1) Through big banks; (2) Through small and private banks; (3) Through public subscription.

The first method of raising capital is: Through big banks. The required sum could then be raised in the shortest possible time among the large financial groups, after they had discussed the advisability of the course. The great advantage of this method would be that it would avoid the necessity of paying in the thousand millions (to keep ta the original figure), immediately in its entirety. A further advantage would be that the credit of these powerful financiers would also be of service to the enterprise. Many latent political forces lie in our financial power, that power which our enemies assert to be so effective. It might be so, but actually it is not. Poor Jews feel only the hatred which this financial power provokes; its use in alleviating their lot as a body, they have not yet felt. The credit of our great Jewish financiers would have to be placed at the service of the National Idea. But should these gentlemen, who are quite satisfied with their lot, feel indisposed to do anything for their fellow-Jews who re unjustly held responsible for the large possessions of certain individuals, then the realization of this plan will afford an opportunity for drawing a clear line of distinction between them and the rest of Jewry.

The great financiers, moreover, will certainly not be asked to raise an amount so enormous out of pure philanthropic motives; that would be expecting too much. The promoters and stock holders of the Jewish Company are, on the contrary, expected to do agood piece of business, and they will be able to calculate beforehand what their chances of success are likely to be. For the Society of Jews will be in possession of all documents and references which may serve to define the prospects of the Jewish Company. The Society will in particular have investigated with exactitude the extent of the new Jewish movement, so as to provide the Company promoters with thoroughly reliable information on the amount of support they may expect. The Society will also supply the Jewish Company with comprehensive modern Jewish statistics, thus doing the work of what is called in France a "societ? d'?tudes," which undertakes all preliminary research previous to the financing of a great undertaking. Even so, the enterprise may not receive the valuable assistance of our moneyed magnates. These might, perhaps, even try to oppose the Jewish movement by means of their secret agents. Such opposition we shall meet with relentless determination.

Supposing that these magnates are content simply to turn this scheme down with a smile:

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Translated from the German by Sylvie D'Avigdor
This edition published in 1946 by the American Zionist Emergency Council

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